POS charges skyrocket as cash crunch bites

By Abimbola Mohammed

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s monetary policy to redesign the one thousand, five hundred and two hundred naira notes as well as cap on cash withdrawals have continued to create a shortage of cash flow in the country, leading to skyrocketing charges by Mobile Bank Agents and Point of Sales (POS) operators.

The attendant difficulty in daily commercial transactions has left Nigerians groaning under the unbearable economic situation they are being forced to operate.

Though CBN has said the redesign of the currency and new limits on cash withdrawals would help curb money laundering and make digital payments the norm, it is still difficult for people to use digital payment as network problems have rendered online banking unviable.

Majority of Nigerians now turn to Point of Sales (POS) operators as the only alternative means to get cash to run their day to day activities which has led to surge in the charges by the operators.

A MARKETING EDGE surveillance report gathered that before now, POS only charged N100 for withdrawals between N1, 000 and N5,000  but the  charges for that same transaction has increased 100 percent or more because of scarcity of cash.

Speaking with Mrs. Idiat Amope, a POS operator in Lambe area of Ogun state, she noted that getting cash in the bank is a big challenge for her.

“I don’t have enough cash to run my business and banks are not helping matters as they only give N20, 000 daily. I have to look for alternative means to get cash to stay in business.

She hinted that she had to buy money from another vendor in order to have cash to run her business, “I paid N20, 000 on N200, 000 which means I was given N180, 0000.

Another operator who requested anonymity said the little cash she got from the bank was possible because she used two separate ATM cards to withdraw money and was forced to bribe the security man at the bank because using two ATMs is prohibited at ATM Gallery for now.

Bunmi from Ikeja said she has not been able to run her POS business for over a week now because Banks refused to dispense cash.

“I have been going to banks since last week. What they do is to collect old notes without giving us money. We were told that the maximum we can withdraw in a week is N500, 000 and N20, 000 per transaction but as it is they are only giving us N2, 000 daily.”

She continued: “If I am able to get cash now I won’t charge the same amount I used to charge before because the stress of getting this money is too much.”

On his part, Nmadi Okafor from Ikorodu told MARKETING EDGE that he charges N100 per thousand transactions.

“To collect N5,000 customers will pay N500 and I don’t even pay more than N5,000 per individual. I do this so that every one of my customers has something to spend because getting cash is now difficult. I know what I go through to get money these days, so I have to be considerate too.”

According to Timmy Ventures in Lekki, every one thousand naira transaction he does attracts N300 charges.

His words: “I buy cash to stay in business; for every N1000 transaction, I collect N300 because I also pay to get this cash you are seeing. Before the CBN policy, I used to do over N1 million transactions on a daily basis; but since this cash scarcity it is difficult to even to get over N500,000 transactions done in a day.“


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